For some: A new sign-up period for the Affordable Care Act. People who received tax credits to subsidize their ACA coverage in 2014 were supposed to file returns that year to make sure their credit was the right amount. If they didn’t file, they would be ineligible for future credits starting this year. But because of the confusion surrounding the paperwork, the Obama administration has given them until March 31 to sign up for ACA coverage and tax credits, as long as they file their 2014 return.
Speaking of the ACA… TPC’s Len Burman takes a look at the embattled Cadillac Tax and concludes President Obama is right to try to fix it. He argues that capping the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance makes good policy sense: “The unlimited subsidy for employment-based health insurance is poorly targeted and contributes to health cost inflation. This ineffective, distortionary tax policy costs almost 350 billion dollars per year in lost income and payroll tax revenues. Reining it in should be a priority for both parties.”
Tax limits in Colorado could have a long term impact. The state’s population could grow from 5 million to 7 million people over the next 15 years. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has suggested some tax increases in spite of the state’s 1992-enacted Taxpayer Bill of Rights. He’s acknowledged there’s not much appetite for the new taxes, but Coloradans might be interested if the money goes to infrastructure that helps support the state’s booming population. According to a contractors’ association that employs over 40,000 people, “they’re willing to pay more as long as… it guarantees safety and mobility.” In fact, tax-averse Colorado Springs just approved a local sales tax to help raise $250 million for road repairs.
Will 2016 be the year of the sugar tax? Maybe. Though the health benefits remain uncertain, several large nations including India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom are considering taxes on sugary food and drinks to raise revenue and shrink waistlines.
But not in Idaho, where buying Girl Scout cookies may become a little sweeter… The state’s House Revenue and Tax Committee introduced a bill that would exempt the treats from the state sales tax. The state’s coffers would lose about $210,000 in tax revenue, though. The House passed a similar measure in 2013, but it died in the Senate. Only Idaho and Hawaii tax the cookies.
Speaking of sweet. The conservative Taxpayers Protection Alliance has sent Congress e-cards featuring Valentine-themed tax facts, because “Love is Patient. Taxpayers Aren’t.” The group wants to make sure Congress keeps comprehensive tax reform at the top of its agenda.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.